Since the opening of The Edge at Avenue North, College Park Communities, the former management company of the building, has heard more complaints about the structure than compliments. Now, The Edge, located at 1600 N. Broad St., is under new management.
Since Oct. 23, College Park Communities was terminated and a student housing consulting and management firm, Campus Advantage, was hired based on the firm’s expertise in student housing and strong reputation with other student living properties.
One of the other buildings that the firm manages is the Divine Tracy Residence Hall in University City, which houses University of Pennsylvania students.
Tenants were notified of the change in management during the last week of October when a letter from Campus Advantage’s vice president of operations was slipped under their doors.
The change was triggered by the turmoil tenants said they experienced as a result of the delayed opening of the building and their inability to move into their apartments prior to the start of the semester.
Then the 12-story structure’s elevators were not operating while students were moving in. Complaints of unfinished rooms, leaking shower stalls, holes in the ceiling and mice also followed.
Some of these complaints even led some tenants to try breaking their leases to escape the living conditions.”As far as I am considered, it is broken,” said sophomore biology major Jana Keller in reference to her lease with the Edge. “I just don’t have many other choices at this point to go live elsewhere.”
Keller has photographs taken of her room that she said was unfinished and unclean when she moved in. Pieces of loose carpeting and nails were scattered across the floor. Light fixtures dangled from the ceiling. Cigarette ashes were sprinkled on countertops and across the floor.
After climbing seven flights of stairs with her belongings, Keller said she was not pleased with the unsightly appearance of her new apartment. Keller said she had to withhold rent in order to get management to address the repairs, which she said were not handled until October. Other tenants shared the same sentiments for the former management company’s delayed response time to addressing complaints.
Derrick Greene, a sophomore electrical
engineering major, said he thought this was a major problem. Greene said when he and his roommate noticed holes in ceiling of their bathroom within two weeks of moving in, followed by leaking in their shower stall, he immediately contacted the management.
“We turned in the online complaint form,” said Greene, a resident on one of the three floors sponsored by Temple Housing. “But nothing has happened.”
Greene said maintenance visited his apartment once in the beginning of the semester to inspect the problem, but no repairs were made. He also added that he has not been contacted since the visit in regards to the problem.
“There was a rough opening,” Mark Simpson, the assistant property manager at The Edge, said. “So the owners decided they needed a positive change for the building.”
The letter to tenants indicated that Campus Advantage plans to employ new approaches, such as extended office hours and resident events that are “designed to improve customer service and the overall living
“Our goal by end of the month is to have all the maintenance issues in the building addressed,” Simpson said. “We are getting new maintenance requests processed within 24 hours and making follow-up phone calls.”
Outstanding complaints are being addressed
in addition to the new workload by Edge staff members who personally visit tenant’s rooms to ensure that their maintenance
concerns are repaired, explained Simpson.
However, Simpson said he hopes that the planning of resident activities and events, such as the Mr. and Mrs. Edge Pageant
scheduled for this month, will also contribute to a positive change in tenant’s morale and opinion of the Edge.
Malaika T. Carpenter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.